Introduced mammals and fish have also had an impact on native species, as highlighted in the recent Stuff article on brown trout. What is interesting is the unlikely alliance of vested interests which have jumped on the article to push their own agendas.
A few farmers have revelled in the claim against trout, using it to divert attention from declining water quality, the environmental ravages of dirty dairying and excessive irrigation.
And fundamentalist environmentalists have used it to reinforce their belief there is no room for introduced species in New Zealand.
This coalition of unlikely bed fellows conveniently ignores that many of these introduced species are beneficial to New Zealand and New Zealanders. Click on the following two sentences to access the full story.
The debate should not be some pejorative “native is good”, introduced is “bad”. The debate should be over how to promote valued introduced and native species, protect more habitat and improve water quality while there’s still time.